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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Ruth’

The Teachings of Ruth

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

On Shavuot, which Jews celebrated yesterday (and which is still being celebrated by Jews outside of Israel today) the Jewish people traditionally read the Book of Ruth. According to various Jewish sages, this is done because (a) the holiday of Shavuot falls in the harvest season and a great part of the story of Ruth took place during the barley harvest; (b) King David was one of Ruth’s descendants and King David’s birthday and death date both fall on Shavuot; and (c) because Ruth was an excellent model for all righteous converts to Judaism, and during the Mount Sinai event the people of Israel experience a similar rebirth as they transform from a people composed of freed slaves into the Nation of Israel in a covenant with God.

The Ruth story demonstrates how all Jews should treat the strangers among us. The righteous Boaz looked out for Ruth, even though she was of foreign origin and was part of the Moabite nation that didn’t have such a pleasant history with the Israeli nation. Boaz’s behavior demonstrates how Jewish ethics teach us that we should always look out for the unfortunate, regardless which nation they are part of and what our history is with that nation.

Excellent contemporary examples of Israel living by this principle include an Israeli hospital looking after a disabled Palestinian baby who has been abandoned by his parents, Israel providing medical treatment for Iraqi children with heart problems, Israeli soldiers assisting a Palestinian child who was injured by a Palestinian rock thrower, Israel offering medical assistance to a Sudanese woman, and Israel treating Syrians who were wounded as Assad kills his own people. Israel continues to provide Palestinians, Iraqis, Sudanese people, and other members of enemy nations the chance to receive medical treatment in Israel due to our understanding of Jewish ethics and values.

Another important lesson that the story of Ruth offers is a guide for how non-Jews can become Jewish. Judaism teaches that all converts need to be rejected three times, before they are permitted to embrace the Jewish faith. Then, upon entering the Jewish nation, they become strongly committed Jews, for they wanted to become Jewish so badly that they overcame all obstacles in order to achieve this. Indeed, Naomi rejected Ruth’s requests to come with her to Israel more than once, before she relented and let her join her.

Furthermore, Boaz, by letting Ruth glean on his fields, was also ensuring that Naomi was taken care of, even though both she and her husband abandoned Israel during a time of famine while Boaz remained behind to help others, and even though Naomi’s husband died because he was not generous enough with the poor. Boaz’s treatment of Naomi teaches us that we should always take care of our family when they are in need, especially if they are widows, regardless what that relative has given in return.

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Hebron Advocate Shares Hundreds of Articles on Real Life, Love of Gritty Biblical City

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Hundreds of articles detailing the real life and passionate fight of the Jewish community of Hebron to maintain their historic and modern claims to the city purchased by the Jewish patriarch Abraham have been published online.

David Wilder, the spokesperson for The Committee of the Jewish Community of Hebron, has made available almost 20 years worth of writings, revealing the personal, local, and national struggle to preserve the Jewish presence in the hotly contested city, sharing the setbacks, successes, heartbreak and hope – and most of all, the unswerving determination of the Hebron faithful.

Wilder, who has lived for the past 30 years in Hebron and neighboring Kiryat Arba, was born in New Jersey, and speaks around the world on behalf of Hebron, raising funds to develop the community and welcome guests who come to visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs – resting place of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah – and the Tomb of Ruth and Jesse.

Mordechai Ben David, Boogie Yaalon, Shlomo Katz, 60,000 More at Hebron on Sukkot

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Mordechai Ben David, Chaim Yisrael, Udi Davidi and Shlomo Katz performed to a packed audience on Wednesday in the Jewish biblical city of Hebron, burial ground of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah, and Jewish ancestors and notables Jesse, Ruth, and Avner.

Former IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Moshe “Boogie” Yaalon also made an appearance at Sukkot celebrations in the city.

“It just shows how much people love Hebron”, English spokesman for the Jewish Community of Hebron David Wilder told the Jewish Press.

Images of Sukkot 2012 in Hebron.

A Hebrew interview with Yaalon in Hebron.

Too Little, Too Late: Parliament Grills BBC Chief on Belittling Fogel Murders

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

The British Broadcasting Corporation “got it wrong” in its reporting of the massacre of the Fogel family by Palestinians in the West Bank village of Itamar, the broadcaster’s outgoing director-general said at a parliamentary committee hearing.

In March 2011, Arabs entered the Fogels’ home and murdered Udi, 36, Ruth, 35, and their children, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, who was 3 months old. Another daughter, who was outside of the house at the time of the killings, came home and discovered the bodies.

Two Arab men were each sentenced to five consecutive life sentences for the Fogels’ murders.

Mark Thompson of the BBC made the admission June 19 while being quizzed by Conservative member of parliament Louise Mensch, according to the London Jewish Chronicle.

In complaining about the light coverage of the event on BBC radio and television programs, the newspaper reported that Mensch said, “I only found out, after the event, from an American blog, called ‘Dead Jews is no news,’ and the more I went into it, the more shocked I was. There was a feeling that the BBC just didn’t care and that if a settler had opened the home of a Palestinian family, slit the throat of their children, that the BBC would have covered that.”

Thompson, according to the Jewish Chronicle, responded that the story occurred during a “very busy news period,” including the fighting in Libya and the tsunami in Japan and that “news editors were under a lot of pressure.”

He reportedly added, “Having said that, it was certainly an atrocity which should have been covered across our news bulletins that day… But I do want to say, to all our audience, including our Jewish and Israeli audiences here and around the world, we do want to make sure we are fair and impartial. We made a mistake in this instance.”

Google Chief Eric Schmidt, Dr. Ruth, and Nobel Laureate Prof. Daniel Kahneman Offer Recipes for ‘Better Tomorrow’

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Nobel laureate Professor Daniel Kahneman headlined the first plenary session of the Israeli Presidential Conference, presenting their prescriptions for bringing about “a better tomorrow.”

The panel also featured world record-holding Paralympic swimmer Keren Leibovitch, Yuri Milner, a leading Internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist and Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the renowned sex therapist.

Several of the panelists focused on the tremendous potential offered by technology, including social media, the rapid growth of smartphones and mobile devices and the widening of Internet access in the developing world.

“The smartphone revolution will be universal,” said Schmidt, emphasizing the need to increase Internet access in the developing world. “There are only one billion people with smartphones and two billion with access to the Internet. The World Wide Web has yet to live up to its name. Technology does not produce miracles, but connectivity, even in modest amounts, changes lives.”

Dr. Ruth spoke of her personal motivations and the lessons she would impart to the next generation.

“Young people need to get out there, stop complaining and do something productive,” said the 84-year old Dr. Ruth. “I survived the Holocaust, whereas 1.5 million children didn’t. I knew I needed to commit myself to Tikkun Olam (fixing the world).”

PA to UN: Make Church of Nativity World Heritage Site in State of Palestine

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

The Palestinian Authority will attempt to register the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as a world heritage site in the country of Palestine when the World Heritage Committee meets in Russia from June 24 to July 6.

Bethlehem, situated just outside of Jerusalem, is the resting place of the Matriarch Rachel, and features prominently in the biblical story of Ruth, as well as in that of her great-grandson, King David.  It is also significant in Christian theology as the birthplace of Jesus, and became home to a church commemorating his alleged birth at the site.  In the years following Oslo, Bethlehem has become overwhelmingly Arab and Muslim in population.

Earlier this month, the committee announced it would be considering registration of 36 heritage sites around the world, including the Church of the Nativity, which was submitted for consideration by the Palestinian Authority.  This marks the first time the committee has contemplated listing a world heritage site as Palestinian.

The PA has a right to submit its request for the Church of the Nativity recognition because the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized Palestine as its 195th member state in October, giving Palestine full state rights in all UNESCO bodies, including the right to register sites on the World Heritage List.  The UN General Assembly has not recognized Palestine as a state.

The PA seeks to register the church and an associated pilgrimage path under an emergency provision for endangered sites.  The International Council on Monuments and Sites has recommended that the PA application be rejected, as it found the site to be neither under imminent threat or severely damaged.  The group recommended the PA resubmit its application for regular consideration by the World Heritage List.

Committee members  to consider the application include Algeria, Cambodia, Colombia, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Japan, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Qatar, Russian Federation, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

Title: Sorosi Bamdinos on Shir Hashirim and Ruth

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Title: Sorosi Bamdinos on Shir Hashirim and Ruth
Author: Rabbi Henoch Levine
Reviewed by Dr. Yochanan Roth

It’s refreshingly rare to welcome a new compendium on the targum of Megillas Shir Hashirim and Ruth (in one volume), just released by Rabbi Henoch Levine. This is the tenth volume in a series by the author, acclaimed for his expertise in targumic studies in general, and for his works on Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel Al Hatorah, in particular. His literary skill in expounding the targumic unique approach to Chumash and the five megillos is legendary and makes his commentary one of the very few, if not the only, comprehensive work on the targum.

The megillah text is newly-set with te’amim in an appealing manner. Rashi is included and newly-reset, as well as the Pirush Toldos Ahron, along with the corresponding targum, lucidly translated to loshon hakodesh in a bold face.

The Sorosi Bamdinos commentary surrounds the targum, and, among the many advantages, it notes variations from that of Rashi and of other authors, and their ramifications to other subjects and topics.

The reader will find in it:

Lomdus in give-and-take discussions among achronim, based on a targumic translation of a verse, expounded in a clear and user-friendly Hebrew, which becomes relevant to the popular lomdishe subjects of yemei Pesach and Shavuos.

Halacha: Contemporary halachic topics, relevant to the laws of shalosh regalim, aliyas haregel, kedushat Yerushalayim bizman hazeh, and a host of allied topics.

Mussar and chassidus teachings, elucidated by the respective movements’ founders and masters.

A guide in avodas Hashem and hanhagos tovos, illustrated in short stories and parables, always quoted verbatim from their sources.

Among the many features included are: More than 400 seforim by rishonim, kadmonim and achronim quoted verbatim, in a concise and relevant form; every book source is highlighted in bold face for easy identification; it contains a complete index of Tanach, Shas, Midrashim, Zohar and poskim as well as a complete topic index and concise gleanings, listed alphabetically, to aid in finding a desired topic, quickly.

In short, this sefer is truly a refreshing wellspring for a mevakesh devar Hashem, where he will find concise, easy-to-follow, relevant divrei Torah in the pardes haTorah.

Sorosi Bamdinos on Shir Hashirim and Ruth, as well as Megillos Esther, and Koheles, and Sorosi on Chamisha Chumshei Torah, may be purchased directly from the author by calling Rabbi Henoch Levine at 347-249-8415 or at your favorite seforim outlet.

Yoram Ettinger: Shavuot Guide for the Perplexed

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Shavuot is the holiday of the Torah, which impacted the US Constitution in particular and the state of Western morality, liberty, and democracy in general. Shavuot is celebrated by decorating homes and houses of worship with Land of Israel-related fruit, vegetables, herb and flowers, demonstrating the indigenous connection between the Torah of Israel, the People of Israel, and the Land of Israel.

Shavuot – a spiritual holiday – follows Passover – a national liberation holiday: from physical liberation (the Exodus) to spiritual liberation/enhancement.

The two portions of the Torah, which are recited/studied around Shavuot, are נשא and בהעלותך, which mean – in Hebrew – spiritual enhancement and elevation. נשא is the longest portion of the Torah (176 verses), highlighting the inauguration of the ancient tabernacle and altar. בהעלותך highlights the Menorah (Candelabrum) of the ancient tabernacle, which had seven branches, similar to the seven day week and the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot.

Shavuot is celebrated 50 days following Passover. The Jubilee – the cornerstone of liberty and the source of the inscription on the Liberty Bell (Leviticus 25:10) – is celebrated every 50 years. Judaism highlights the constant challenge facing human beings: the choice between the 50 gates of wisdom and the corresponding 50 gates of impurity. Egypt represented the gates of impurity and the receipt of the Torah represented the gates of wisdom. The 50th gate of wisdom is the gate of deliverance. The USA is composed of 50 states.

Shavuot highlights the eternity of the Jewish People. Thus, the first and the last Hebrew letters of Shavuot (שבועות) constitute the Hebrew name of the third son of Adam & Eve, Seth (שת), the righteous ancestor of Noah, hence of all mankind. The Hebrew meaning of Seth – שת – is “to institute” and “to bestow upon”, מתן in Hebrew – the Hebrew word for the bestowing of the Torah at Mt. Sinai (מתן תורה).

Shavuot (שבועות) is a derivative of the Hebrew word “Shvoua’” (שבועה) – vow, referring to the exchange of vows between God and the Jewish People. The origin of Shavuot occured 26 generations following Adam and Eve. The Hebrew word for Jehovah equals 26 in Gimatriya (assignment of numerical values to Hebrew letters). There are 26 Hebrew letters in the names of the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs: Abraham (אברהם), Yitzhak (יצחק), Yaakov (יעקב) Sarah (שרה), Rivka (רבקה), Rachel (רחל) and Leah (לאה).

The Hebrew root of Shavuot is the word Seven – “Sheva” (שבע). Shavuot is celebrated 7 weeks following Passover; God employed 7 earthly attributes to create the universe (in addition to the 3 divine attributes); There are 7 basic human traits, which individuals are supposed to resurrect/adopt in preparation for Shavuot; 7 key Jewish/universal leaders – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aharon, Joseph and David – represent the seven qualities of the Torah and the wholesomeness of Judaism and the Land of Israel; 7 days of Creation and a 7 days in a week; The Sabbath is the 7th day; The first Hebrew verse in Genesis consists of 7 words; There are 7 species of the Land of Israel (barley, wheat, grape, fig, pomegranate, olive and date/honey); 7 represents multiplication – שבעתיים – “Sivatayim”; There are 7 directions (north, south, west, east, up, down, one’s own position); 7 gates to The Temple in Jerusalem; 7 Noahide Commandments; Moses’ birth/death was on the 7th day of Adar; Jethro had 7 names and 7 daughters; Passover and Sukkot (Tabernacles) last for 7 days each; each Plague lasted for 7 days; the Menorah has 7 branches; Jubilee follows seven 7-year cycles; according to Judaism, slaves are liberated, and the soil is not-cultivated, in the 7th year; there are 7 continents in the globe and 7 notes in a musical scale; there are 7 days of mourning over the deceased, 7 blessings in a Jewish wedding, 7 congregants read the Torah on each Sabbath and 7 Jewish Prophetesses (Sarah, Miriam, Devorah, Chana, Abigail, Choulda and Esther). Pentecost is celebrated, by Christians, on the 7th Sunday after Easter.

Shavuot is the second of the 3 Jewish Pilgrimages (Sukkot-Tabernacles, Passover and Shavuot), celebrated on the 6th day of the 3rd Jewish month, Sivan. It highlights Jewish Unity, compared by King Solomon to “a three folds cord, which is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). The Torah – the first of the 3 parts of the Jewish Bible – was granted to the Jewish People (which consists of 3 components: Priests, Levites and Israel), by Moses (the youngest of 3 children, brother of Aharon and Miriam), a successor to the 3 Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and to Seth, the 3rd son of Adam and Eve. The Torah was forged in 3 manners: Fire (commitment to principles), Water (lucidity and purity) and Desert (humility and principle-driven tenacity). The Torah is one of the 3 global pillars, along with labor and gratitude/charity. The Torah is one of the 3 pillars of Judaism, along with the Jewish People and the Land of Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/holidays/yoram-ettinger-shavuot-guide-for-the-perplexed/2012/05/24/

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